I love summers. One of the reasons I love summers is that it gives me extra time to make little day trips with my husband, Doug.When my husband was still working for Union Bank I would go with him, into The Valley (Fresno, Visalia, Hanford, Porterville, etc...) on his calls as an IT Servicer. We would download books from Audible and listen as we traveled for the day back and forth across California (usually about a 3 hour drive, one way.) We have gotten a ton of books read this way over the years. I like it because even though I am actively listening to the story I also get to watch people on the city streets and sight see along the way.
We were heading home one afternoon from Lemoore, a small town in The Valley that is home to Lemoore Naval Air Station. I was tired, probably from eating too much at lunch and the book was droning on. I could feel myself beginning to have that desire to nod off; a little afternoon nap while Doug drove. We were driving on the outskirts of town through an area with a lot of apartment buildings; many of them looked to be low-rent. We stopped at a corner and waited for the light to change in our favor when out of the corner of my eye, off to the right, I caught a movement.
In one of the apartments on the ground floor a curtain had moved. It was so hot outside, not many people were about; none in the apartment complex, as far as I could see. Doors and curtains were shut to the blasting heat of the early afternoon so common in The Valley. Temperatures of 100+ are a fact of life in the summer. People stay inside and tough it out. When the sun finally goes down, the temperatures do also, making outside activities mostly bearable.
As we sat there at the light I continued to watch the window where I had seen the curtain move. A fraction of a minute went by and more movement. I could see a brown haired child doing something under the window. And then I saw the full view. The curtain parted a couple of feet wide, the back of a chair appeared and on the chair was a little dark haired boy, probably about 5 or 6 years old. In seconds he made himself comfortable, kneeling on the chair and propping his elbows on the windowsill. He then put his hand up to rest his cheek on, and proceeded to look this way and that, to see what he could see. As his eyes met mine, he smiled and waved and as the light turned, I tried to wave back but don't know if he saw me or not. I hope so.
As we drove on and the story we were listening to unfolded, I thought about that little boy. His mom had probably told him it was too hot to go outside and play so he was stuck inside. It looked like the motions of his actions were well rehearsed, like he did this everyday, just to see what there was to see. A true people watcher.
I will probably never get that way again now that my husband is retired. We still take day drives and listen to books but it is at our leisure now and certainly have found more comfortable places to travel in the summer. But every now and again, I think about that little boy and his happy face in the window. The heat wasn't bothering him. He had found something exciting to do. Who knows what he saw through that window every day? Maybe it will spark a desire to travel and meet people outside his little town. You just never know. But it was great having that singular, happy moment with him. It made my day :)